Paul Knipping was born on 20 May 1883 in Neuwied on Rhine as the son of a medical practitioner. Already while attending secondary school he developed an outspoken interest in Physics. He studied in Heidelberg and Munich. Towards the end of his thesis work under Prof. Röntgen he interrupted the work in order to join W. Friedrich in carrying out the experimental proof of Prof. M. von Laue's theory of X-ray interference. Following his graduation he took up an appointment at the Siemens Laboratories in Berlin. After a short spell of military service at the outbreak of war, 1914, he joined the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physikalische und Elektrochemie of F. Haber in Berlin-Dahlem where he was in charge of developing testing methods. He continued there after the war as assistant to James Franck and was co-author and author of papers on the ionization stages of Helium (Franck and Knipping), of Hydrogen (Franck, Knipping and Krüger) and of the Halogen Hydrides.
In 1923 he left the K.W.I. and, after one semester's work with Lenard in Heidelberg, settled at the Technical University of Darmstadt where he became lecturer in 1924. Here he soon opened a laboratory class in X-rays and, in the course of a few years and with the active support of the Technical University and industry, established a separate X-ray Institute which was inaugurated in 1933. He was made full professor in 1932. On 26 October 1935 he suffered a fatal accident on his motorbicycle.P. P. Ewald
First published for the International Union of Crystallography 1962 by N.V.A. Oosthoek's Uitgeversmaatschappij, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Digitised 1999 for the IUCr XVIII Congress, Glasgow, Scotland
© 1962, 1999 International Union of Crystallography